Hay raking

Haymaking was put off for three weeks which is what I wanted, to let all the wildflowers finish and set seed first. The hay is now all raked into an interesting geometrical pattern like a Neolithic temple site, waiting for the baler to come.

This is the west meadow looking south

west looking south

East meadow looking west. The red and white tape is to cordon off an area where saplings are planted.

east meadow looking west

The south section looking up towards the house.

south section

The part I like best, the bottoms where the willows are, a section about 20 metres by 200 metres that isn’t mown and is just left to its own devices.

unmown beneath willows

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

35 thoughts on “Hay raking”

    1. The farmer who cut the hay will take it for his cows. He asked if he could cut beneath the trees too but we said we were leaving that alone. There has to be a bit of wilderness left!

      1. Oh–I didn’t understand that it was a farmer cutting the hay on your land. It all works out then–the flowers were done and the cows will be fed. ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. You need a tractor with a mower, then a raker, then you need a baler to get rid of it. Even the farmer who cut the hay hired a company to bale it up. So he has to book the baler while the sun’s out before the storms (one tomorrow), and the company will have several small farmers asking the same thing. Me saying, oh, wait the marguerites aren’t quite finished yet doesn’t cut much ice.

    1. It’s a machine does it. You’d need a whole team and a long time to rake it up by hand. The hay does have a good smell, especially at night, coming in through the open window.

      1. I fear that they’ll start building on the fields here. There are too many that aren’t used for anything at all. When the last livestock farmers decide it isn’t worth it, and there’s no need for the meadow grass, what will the owners do with it?

  1. Thank you for the photographs and the narrative. I’m glad enough sense or cooperation or instinct or accidental timing happened so that the first growth could have its way and then have seeds dropped for the future.

    1. The farmers always want to cut early, despite what they’re being told about the biological necessity to cut later. They say it gets too dry. Some places did have a first cut at the beginning of May because the weather was so warm. Every year they try to strong arm us into letting them cut the hay end of May, but we’ve stuck to our guns and the weather has always changed for the worse so they wouldn’t have been able to do it anyway.

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